Holiday quarantine: Which country will be removed from the 'green list' next?

France, Spain, Croatia and Malta are on the UK quarantine list, while Scotland and Wales have imposed restrictions on Portugal and Greece
Mainland Portugal, France, Spain, Croatia and Malta are on the UK quarantine list, while Scotland and Wales have imposed restrictions on Greece Credit: Getty

Slovenia and Guadeloupe have been removed from the UK's quarantine-free travel list.  

It means there are now even fewer holiday options for Britons that don't require a bout of self-isolation, and, with cases rising across Europe, more destinations could lose their "travel corridors" in the coming weeks. 

So the question is, could your holiday destination be affected? Here we take a look at the most popular European countries that are currently on the UK quarantine-free list and crunch how cases are on the rise, and whether they could soon be removed.

As a rule of thumb, the Government starts getting twitchy when a country's seven-day case rate exceeds 20 per 100,000. However, the UK's own case rate has now passed that threshold, so it seems to be exercising a little more leniency.

Denmark and Ireland are among the countries on the green list with the highest case rates (38.4 and 30.3, respectively), but were handed a reprieve this week. 

The UK Government reviews its policy every Thursday, with destinations usually removed from 4am on a Saturday morning, so booking your flight home on a Friday – just in case – could be wise. 


Latest daily rise in cases: 359 (9 deaths)

Per 100,000 (last 7 days): 17.7

Greece was removed from Scotland's travel "green list" recently, while several islands, including Crete, have been removed from those of England and Wales. However, deaths remain low and the mainland is unlikely to be removed from the UK-wide list any time soon. 

The FCDO website states: "You must complete an online Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 24 hours before your arrival in Greece. Failure to do so in advance may result in your carrier not allowing you to travel, a 500 Euro fine on arrival or the Greek authorities not allowing you to enter the country.

"Once you have completed the form, you will receive an email acknowledgement. In a separate email, you will also receive a QR code. This code is likely to be sent up to 24 hours before you travel, regardless of how early you fill in your form. When you receive your code, make sure you either print it, or can show it on your mobile phone."


Latest daily rise in cases: 647 (2 deaths)

Per 100,000 (last 7 days): 12.1

Germany has seen daily infections above 1,400 several times in the last few weeks. It has imposed tougher rules on mask wearing and will keep fans out of stadiums until at the least the end of the year to combat the rise. 

However, its seven-day figure remains low at 12.1 per 100,000. It currently looks a solid bet for a quarantine-free holiday.


Latest daily rise in cases: 1,585 (13 deaths)

Per 100,000 (last 7 days): 16.3

While France and Spain have seen a big rise in new cases, Italy had seen fewer signs of a second spike. However, in the last couple of weeks its infection rate has doubled. Nevertheless, it is still lower than much of Europe, including the UK – so it looks unlikely to be added to the quarantine list. 


Latest daily rise in cases: 1,771 (63 deaths)

Per 100,000 (last 7 days): 13.8

Daily cases have been steady over the last month, after some fears that the country was facing a second spike.

Its case rate is well below the UK’s, making it a decent option.

The safest options

The following countries have a case rate below 15, are not on the quarantine list, and are feasible holiday options for UK travellers:

  • Turkey (13.8)
  • Germany (12.1)
  • Liechtenstein (10.6)
  • Poland (9.5)
  • Iceland (6.8)
  • Cyprus (1.9)
  • Barbados (1.4)
  • Antigua (1)
  • St Lucia (0.6)

Book with caution

The following countries have a case rate above 17, are not yet on the quarantine list, and are open to UK travellers:

  • Greece (17.7)
  • Slovakia (19.1)
  • San Marino (20.7)
  • Denmark (38.4)

What is the quarantine fine?

British holidaymakers could face a £1,000 penalty or even an unlimited fine if they fail to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in the UK under new public health measures.

All arrivals to the country are required to complete an information form “to provide contact and travel information so they can be contacted if they, or someone they may have been in contact with, develops the disease.”

Failure to complete the form is punishable by a £100 fixed penalty notice. 

Four weeks after coming into effect, the police had not issued a single fine for an individual failing to observe quarantine.

Data in this article is collated by the EDCD. See here for further information.